I've always remembered something Sanford Meisner, my acting teacher, told us. When you create a character, it's like making a chair, except instead of making someting out of wood, you make it out of yourself. That's the actor's craft - using yourself to create a character.
You know, Hollywood sometimes tends to patronize the interior of the United States. As Horton Foote used to say, the great Texas playwright, that a lot of people from New York don't know what goes on beyond the South Jersey Shore.
I always figure from the cradle to the grave, we all have our individual journeys, and maybe my journey was a positive one and I accomplished certain things without stepping on too many toes.
Sometimes you don't prepare much. I mean, when I did 'Lonesome Dove' way back I rode horses day and night for like three or four months, and that got me ready for that.
The most solitary I ever felt was when I was living in New York. I used to live in Enrico Caruso's old apartment, and I had a special staircase that took me up to the roof. There was nobody up there.
I am getting some good offers still. Some nice things are coming my way just as they always have, so unless I lose my inspiration or there is too much drool to wipe, I will keep going.
I was fortunate in the last century to be in the two biggest hits film-wise, 'Godfather I' and 'Godfather II,' and 'Lonesome Dove.'
But I think there are more good young actors now than ever. It's a medium that everyone wants to be connected with - it is such a hip medium going into the 21st century.
Some Russian ballet master woman said there's no culture in America, but if you look you can find interesting stuff in this country, don't you think?
I've always liked country music. It's a certain aspect of America that goes back to the British Isles and the influence is very native to America.
I'll keep on acting 'til they wipe the drool. I like the business. I like to do different parts and diverse characters. I haven't lost my enthusiasm yet!
But for me, the challenge is how you turn a character into behavior. Once the director says 'action', you just try to live between those two worlds.
It's a cyclical thing. When they make one, everyone loves them. Different genres come around in succession. People always welcome the western. It's America's genre.
I love going to black churches, and I love some of these black preachers. The best preacher I ever saw in my life was a 93-year-old in a black church in Hamilton, Virginia. What a preacher!
Well, it's like my movie, 'The Apostle.' Some people in the North don't get that movie. They think that, in the South, if you don't shout, you can't play one of those guys.
What people don't understand about Sarah Palin is that she is a rancher's wife. From Alberta down to Texas I've known women like that: good common sense, bright and vilified by city people.
Hollywood sometimes tends to patronize the interior of the United States. As Horton Foote used to say, the great Texas playwright, that a lot of people from New York don't know what goes on beyond the South Jersey Shore.
It's like kids playing house: 'You play the father, I'll play the mother.' You know, you dress up, you play, they pay, you go home. It's a game - acting's a game.
The money part is one of the most difficult things. Coppola always said I should do a tango movie. If it hadn't been for him, I don't know where we would have gotten the money.
As long as they keep offering me some good parts and so forth - there are some parts out there that fit me pretty well - I'll keep going for a while.